Brunswick Residents Newsletter, October 2020

Welcome to our monthly newsletter, a briefer-than-usual Council Election special, but still with local news on traffic and transport, planning and entertainment. Scroll down for the cut-and-paste version, or view on Mailchimp for more elegant formatting.

Welcome to this briefer-than-usual edition. We’re in caretaker mode, but bring you all the pre-election news. Today’s Covid numbers: One active (no new) case in each of Brunswick 3056, and East Brunswick 3057. Surrounding postcodes are all zero except for one case in Thornbury (3071).

Check out your 15 South Ward candidates

It’s election time for Moreland City Council. Voters in Moreland’s South Ward (Brunswick, south of Albion Street) are currently voting to select three councillors to represent us on Moreland Council for the next four years (voters in the two northern wards select four councillors for each ward). There are 15 candidates standing in the South Ward.

Deadlines and dates for voting:

You should have received your ballot papers by now. If you haven’t, call the Moreland Electoral Office on 8619 1452. Your ballot papers need to be posted by Friday 23 October and need to arrive at the electoral office by Friday 30 October (post sooner to be sure). The results will be announced some time between 2 November and 13 November, allowing extra time because social distancing will make counting slower.

Checking out the candidates

Brunswick Residents Network is not affiliated to any political party, and we do not endorse candidates for the Council elections. However, we think it’s important to get to know potential candidates and their policies. Here’s some issues to look at:

  • Their views on local issues important to you. BRN newsletter readers might ask candidates about planning, the local environment, open space, traffic and priorities for post-pandemic recovery.
  • Are they serious about standing? Do they have well-considered ideas about what they hope to achieve as a Councillor? Have they thought about a range of areas that Council controls?
  • Look at candidates’ preference flows. Are the preferences directed clearly towards one major party or ticket? Are independents independent?
  • Have you been bombarded by campaign material? Has your candidate paid for hand-delivery of leaflets during the pandemic? If so, you may want to ask them who funded this! (See candidate responses to this issue on the CAM website, linked below).

Six places you can get information:

1) During the pandemic, it’s been hard to test candidates’ claims. For this reason, BRN hosted a Candidates’ Webinar, where 14 out of 15 South Ward candidates each made a short presentation and answered questions from the audience.

Around 150 people were watching at the time, with many more views since. A huge thanks to both candidates and citizens for devoting an evening to democracy  – and a great way to get a sense of who’s who!

  • View on Zoom: The passcode (which must be typed in, not pasted), is 3#XnJYkQ
  • View on our BRN Facebook page (and check out the many comments and questions)

2) BRN questionnaire on ‘making walking better’: Our joint Walking Working Group (BRN and Walk on Moreland) sent candidates a survey on improving mobility and safety for pedestrians. Once again, 14 out of 15 Brunswick South Ward candidates responded (most very thoughtfully, thank you). Check their responses for priorities, strategies, and views on key issues like speed limits and fixing Sydney Road.

3) The Moreland Bicycle Users Group has a brief survey of Moreland candidates, asking about attitudes to bike-riding and transport priorities, with 13 South Ward candidates responding. This survey includes a specific question on what speed limit candidates support in local streets.

4) Climate Action Moreland (CAM) has surveyed candidates with some interesting questions. These include asking if candidates have received campaign funding, and if so, from where. Some candidates responding “none” may have been generous in self-funding their own campaigns. Other questions of interest include candidates’ support for public transport initiatives, and for facilitating “mode shift” away from private motor vehicles.

For those on the north side of Albion Street, check the CAM election page for candidate survey results; along with video of their candidate forums. These webinars focused on sustainability issues, but also provide a chance to assess candidates’ views and performance more broadly.

5) Beat Magazine survey

Scroll down through this article to find your ward candidate. This survey ranges from support for small business and hospitality, to action on climate change.

6) Candidate websites and Facebook pages

We’ve posted Facebook and website details on our website for each South Ward candidate – including the contacts given on the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) page. For most candidates, these sites give their views and affiliations, and you can ask about their policies. Links for northern ward candidates are available on Walk On Moreland and Climate Action Moreland.

Primary parents: safe trips to school survey

If you have primary school children, please take the time to fill in this short survey from local Member of Parliament for Brunswick, Tim Read. You can promote it around your school community. We know many Brunswick parents are concerned about safe routes to school, without having to drive.

A big response will focus on the changes you want, through lobbying Council and the Victorian Government to prioritise safe walking and riding to school. 

Bunnings objections extended

Over 500 people have put in objections to the proposed Bunnings Warehouse in Glenlyon Road, in particular focusing on the anticipated traffic chaos. The planning application will now go to the newly-elected Council in December. This means that it’s not too late to add objections. See this website for pretty much everything you need to know about the proposal, plus how to object:

People and places

Reviving our cities

The RACV has asked various prominent people how they would revive the CBD post lockdown. Some of the ideas floated for the City could be part of a Brunswick revival . . . going beyond the obvious idea of outdoor dining. Ideas included  a mass rollout of green roofs, walls and facades; creating temporary “parklets” outside cafes; and facilitating artists’ use of empty buildings by providing financial incentives (rather the current disincentives) to lowering rents.

 Not an election candidate


Some residents found this election pamphlet in their letterbox this week. It does have some great ideas: turning Woolies’ carpark into a beach; putting up a giant coffee percolator above George’s Coffee in Victoria Street;  and building a chair-lift up Sydney Road hill.

We checked Madeleine out – her talents go beyond electioneering, as she’s the winner of the 2020 Sydney Road Song Competition with a magnificent piece entitled  . . .  Sydney Road. Check it out!

Trains back 2 November

The good news . . . The Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) have announced that trains through to Upfield will return from Monday 2 November, two weeks ahead of schedule. HOWEVER they won’t stop at Moreland or Coburg as the stations are not yet finished.

The bad news is that the LXRA are about to cut down more trees . . . this time the trees lining the bike path on the edge of the Coburg carpark behind Dan Murphy’s, because the drainage trench and electricals will interfere with the trees’ root systems. They have promised to replace them with mature trees.

IBAC and Council elections

Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) has posted this article on their role in local council elections. It’s also got links to the other bodies, such as the Victorian Electoral Commission and the Victorian Local Government Inspectorate, that have a role in overseeing election integrity. It also gives a clear explanation of which organisation deals with what type of issue. Interesting – but hopefully not something you’ll need too use!

Moreland Council stuff

All Council meetings – held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month –  are normally held at: Council Chamber, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg.

Because Covid procedures are expected to slow down election counts, the normal November meeting will not happen as results may not have been rinalised.

The next scheduled meeting date is Wednesday 9 December 2020.

Meeting details are posted at the Council website.

Council meetings can be watched online, either live, or later – you can find details here along with the agenda for the next Council meeting when it’s posted on the Friday before the monthly meeting.

There has been no public question time because of COVID-19 rules, but if this is not restored by December you can submit a written question through a link on the website page above.

Email us!

Please note our email address:  brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com. And write to tell us what you think of the newsletter. We love feedback.

If you are able to offer some time to volunteer to help organise our campaigns, and support our work, please get in contact. Our work includes organising meetings, leafleting and letter boxing, graphic design and publicity, and research; on planning, greening Brunswick and traffic management.

[Wondering why this email comes to you from nfip@optusnet.com.au? Our Mailchimp email service doesn’t like a gmail sender’s address, so we use a member’s address. Add this address your contacts so our emails don’t get filed as spam, but don’t write to it)

Contacts for our local councillors

Lambros Tapinos (Mayor)
Mobile: 0433 419 075
Email: ltapinos@moreland.org.au

Jess Dorney
Mobile: 0419 560 055
Email: jdorney@moreland.org.au

Mark Riley
Mobile: 0499 807044
Email: mriley@moreland.org.au

,MAILING LIST AND FURTHER INFORMATION

Welcome to new readers! To contact organisers of the Brunswick Residents’ Network, or to offer help with future activities, please email brunswickresidentsnetwork@gmail.com. (This gmail is our preferred address, rather than replying to this email). Thanks to those who have contributed to this edition.

Please forward this e-letter to other Moreland neighbours who’d like a say in the way their community is changing. It’s easy to sign on, or edit your details to include your interests – just go to http://eepurl.com/VX4a9.

For meeting details, survey and newsletter archives, go to: https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com

Check out our Facebook page for a range of lively discussions: Brunswick Residents Network. Help us reach more people by liking our page, commenting, forwarding this newsletter, and tweeting it using the links below.

Election comment in this issue authorised by N. Maclellan, c/- 135 Albert Street, Brunswick 3056.

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